Today in History

Today is Tuesday, March 10, the 70th day of 2020. There are 296 days left in the year.

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, March 10, the 70th day of 2020. There are 296 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 10, 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, who was the Soviet Union’s leader for 13 months, died at age 73; he was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

On this date:

In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.

In 1848, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln assigned Ulysses S. Grant, who had just received his commission as lieutenant-general, to the command of the Armies of the United States.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, Thomas Watson, heard Bell say over his experimental telephone: “Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you” from the next room of Bell’s Boston laboratory.

In 1906, about 1,100 miners in northern France were killed by a coal-dust explosion.

In 1913, former slave, abolitionist and Underground Railroad “conductor” Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York; she was in her 90s.

In 1933, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered off Long Beach, California, resulted in 120 deaths.

In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tennessee (on his 41st birthday) to assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)

In 1980, “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr. Herman Tarnower was shot to death at his home in Purchase, New York. (Tarnower’s former lover, Jean Harris, was convicted of his murder; she served nearly 12 years in prison before being released in January 1993.)

In 1988, prior to the 50th anniversary of the Anschluss, Austrian President Kurt Waldheim apologized on his country’s behalf for atrocities committed by Austrian Nazis.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II approved sainthood for Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia socialite who had taken a vow of poverty and devoted her fortune to helping poor blacks and American Indians. (Drexel, who died in 1955, was canonized in October 2000.)

In 2004, teenage sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was sentenced in Chesapeake, Virginia, to life in prison for his role in the October 2002 killing rampage in the Washington, D.C., area that left 10 people dead. (Malvo, 19, was sentenced a day after sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad was given the death penalty.)

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama denounced waste, inefficiency and downright fraud in the government’s health care system as he sought to rally public support for his revamped overhaul plan during a rally in suburban St. Louis. About 200 women who’d flown airplanes during World War II as Women Airforce Service Pilots were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Actor Corey Haim died in Burbank, California, at age 38.

Five years ago: Breaking her silence in the face of a growing controversy over her use of a private email address and server, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded that she should have used government email as secretary of state but insisted she had not violated any federal laws or Obama administration rules. A U.S. Army helicopter crashed in dense fog during a training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, killing seven elite Marines and four experienced soldiers.

One year ago: A Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from the capital, Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board; the crash was similar to one in October in which a 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on the plane. (The aircraft would be grounded worldwide after the two disasters, bringing fierce criticism to Boeing over the design and rollout of the jetliner.) “Captain Marvel,” the first female-fronted superhero movie from Marvel Studios, took in more than $150 million domestically and $455 million globally on its opening weekend, making it one of the biggest blockbusters ever led by a woman.

Today’s birthdays: Talk show host Ralph Emery is 87. Bluegrass/country singer-musician Norman Blake is 82. Actor Chuck Norris is 80. Playwright David Rabe is 80. Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) is 80. Actress Katharine Houghton (Film: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”) is 78. Actor Richard Gant is 76. Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) is 73. Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell is 73. TV personality/businesswoman Barbara Corcoran (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 71. Actress Aloma Wright is 70. Blues musician Ronnie Earl (Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters) is 67. Producer-director-writer Paul Haggis is 67. Alt-country/rock musician Gary Louris is 65. Actress Shannon Tweed is 63. Pop/jazz singer Jeanie Bryson is 62. Actress Sharon Stone is 62. Rock musician Gail Greenwood is 60. Magician Lance Burton is 60. Movie producer Scott Gardenhour is 59. Actress Jasmine Guy is 58. Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is 57. Music producer Rick Rubin is 57. Britain’s Prince Edward is 56. Rock singer Edie Brickell is 54. Actor Stephen Mailer is 54. Actor Philip Anthony-Rodriguez is 52. Actress Paget Brewster is 51. Actor Jon Hamm is 49. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 48. Actor Cristiande la Fuente is 46. Rock musician Jerry Horton (Papa Roach) is 45. Actor Jeff Branson is 43. Singer Robin Thicke is 43. Actress Bree Turner is 43. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller is 43. Contemporary Christian singer Michael Barnes (Red) is 41. Actor Edi Gathegi is 41. Rock musician Matt Asti (MGMT) is 40. Actor Thomas Middleditch is 38. Country singer Carrie Underwood is 37. Actress Olivia Wilde is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Emeli Sande is 33. Country singer Rachel Reinert is 31. Country musician Jared Hampton (LANCO) is 29. Actress Emily Osment is 28.

Thought for today: “He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” — Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

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